Friday, August 23, 2013

The Trap of Perfectionism

Growing up and even into my sophomore and junior year of nursing school, I wanted to be perfect. It didn't matter that I mentally acknowledged this to be impossible for any mortal human; I still became upset whenever I messed up and fell short of perfection.

Then one day I was speaking with one of our beloved instructors, and she made a statement, that to me, was revolutionary in that it changed my whole perspective on my performance orientation in life. She said, "There's only One person that's perfect, and that's Jesus." Of course, I knew this to be true, but I had never considered that Jesus had been perfect for me so that I don't have to be.

This revelation was liberating because it meant I didn't have to fear failure anymore. Instead of worrying about the outcome of doing something, I could have confidence when I walked into a new situation that, no matter what happened, I had the freedom to learn and would not have condemnation for failing.

I believe this truth has the power to set many fearful believers, such as I was, free. Jesus is our representative before God. He has taken away our shame and given us His righteousness. When God the Father looks at us, He sees the robes of righteousness Jesus gives us when we're saved. We should always do our best and never use our position in Christ as an excuse for any less, but we should remember who we are, God's children, and that should motivate us to achieve great things.

If you struggle with perfectionism, I encourage you to read Romans 8. God's word has the power to transform lives. I know it has changed mine.

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). 

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